You are currently browsing all posts tagged with 'pimple'.
Displaying 1 - 2 of 2 entries.

All About Acne – Part II: Treatment and Skincare Routine

  • Posted on June 22, 2013 at 2:22 am

Acne Part 2 CollageIn Part I of my series on acne I talked about what it is and what causes it.  Now let’s get into different ways that you can treat it.  Unfortunately there isn’t a magic wand that can make your acne disappear overnight (in most cases), but there are several options that can clear up skin rather quickly if done right.

 

Acne Treatments – Your Routine

What I’ve mapped out below is a basic skin routine for someone with acne.  If your skin is cystic and extremely overrun with acne, you should consider seeing a dermatologist first so that you can get the infection treated and under control.  There is a certain point where handling it by yourself is no longer an option.


Cleanse

It would seem that this is an easy step and kind of a no-brainer, but often times individuals with acne are either not cleansing their skin properly or are using the wrong products to do so.  Here is what you need to know about cleansing when it comes to dealing with acne-prone skin:

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser1 Burt's Bees Acne Solutions Purifying Cleanser1

  •  Use a gentle cleanser in the morning and at night – “Gentle” is the key here.  Sometimes people gravitate towards harsher cleansers, use scrubs, and end up over-stripping their skin.  We all have a thin layer of oil that protects our skin from outside irritants.  We need it.  It’s just part of life.  When you have acne, oil becomes this horrible thing that you are trying to get rid of.  However, if you over-strip your skin and remove that protective barrier, your skin panics and kicks oil production into high gear to compensate.  Using a gentle cleanser (at night especially) will help remove the makeup, dirt, grime, and general nastiness of the day from your skin without irritating it.
  •  No Scrubs – Whenever you get tempted to do some extra exfoliation on your skin, just remember the TLC song and stay away from scrubs until everything calms down on your face.  The little grains in scrubs that make them initially feel great can actually cause mini-tears in your skin, irritating the acne even further.

 

 

Purchase:
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser

Burt’s Bees Acne Purifying Gel Cleanser

 

Exfoliate

I just said to stay away from scrubs, but that doesn’t mean that your skin won’t benefit from exfoliation.  When you exfoliate, you are removing the dead skin cells from your skin’s surface.  This becomes especially important when you have acne-prone skin because your skin isn’t shedding the dead cells properly.  As with cleansing, the big key here is to use a gentle exfoliant.

Flash Foam Cleanser
One that I love is from Bioelements.  It is their Flash Foam Cleanser.

  • Dissolves dead cells, dirt, and makeup
  • Provides mild exfoliation
  • Leaves skin feeling refreshed

Use this once a week at night, one pump is all you need.  It feels great on the skin, so you’ll likely feel tempted to use it more than that, but resist the urge.  Stick to once a week and your skin will love it.

Purchase

Bioelements Flash Foam Cleanser

 

Topical Treatment

There is only one topical treatment that I use or recommend, because I have seen it do amazing things.  That is the Bioelements Breakout Control treatment.

Breakout Control1

You know when your skin gets that sort of itchy feeling, and you just know that you’re going to break out?  If I put Breakout Control on the spot when I first get that feeling, I won’t break out.  If I don’t catch a pimple before it develops, I use this and it with either make it disappear or bring it to a head so that I can extract it.

 

  • Dries and clears acne pimples
  • Helps prevent new blemishes from forming
  • Can be worn under makeup or alone
  • Use it day and night

 

 
My sister asks me for this all of the time, because the last time she visited I was able to clear up her skin using this product and my High Frequency machine (which I will talk about in a future post).  A tiny little bit of it goes a long way.  You could cover your face with it using about a pea size of product, but only use it where you have acne present (or where you get that feeling one is going to appear).  When I have the occasional breakout and need a spot treatment I only need an itsy bitsy amount to get the job done, it lasts forever.

Purchase:
Bioelements Breakout Control

 

Moisturize/Sunscreen

Sun Diffusing Protector1 Your skin needs moisture and sun protection, always.

If you’d like to combine the two into one light product that I swear by, check out Bioelements Sun Diffusing Protector.  If you read my blog about sunscreen you know this is my go-to product.  I absolutely love it.

For some people, exposure to the sun can actually worsen acne.  Also, if it is determined that you need to go on an antibiotic or a prescription medication to treat your acne (typically if it is cystic and running rampant on your skin), they can make you more susceptible to the sun’s rays.

You don’t want your skin burning and becoming even more irritated because of the sun, so protect it with something light that won’t clog your pores.

Purchase:

Bioelements Sun Diffusing Protector

 

 

Bottom Line

Following the right skin care routine is so important to getting your skin back on track and getting rid of acne.  In my next blog I will talk about ingredients to avoid in your makeup.  There are several things to look for that can actually aggravate existing acne or even cause breakouts.  Like me on Facebook and you will be the first to know when I post a new article.

Let me know if you try any of the products I listed above, and how you liked them.

All About Acne – Part I: What Is It, and What Causes It

  • Posted on June 22, 2013 at 1:56 am

“I wouldn’t trade the acne scar on my right cheek, because that recurring zit spent more time with me in college than any boy ever did.”  ~Tina Fey

Acne Part 1 Collage Final

One of the most challenging – and rewarding – skin conditions that I have dealt with as an esthetician is acne.  It is truly rewarding for me to work with someone who has acne and watch their skin transform as it clears up.  It can be life changing, especially for people whose acne seems to be out of control.

I have wanted to write about acne since I started this blog, but it is a huge topic.  I wasn’t sure where I wanted to start, so I decided to break this down into pieces and parts.  I hope this information helps!

We seem to have a ton of names for it – zit, pimple, whitehead, blemish, blackhead, pustule, cyst, sore… But what IS acne?  When I ask people to tell me what acne is, they invariably give me another name for it and look at me like I am nuts.  “You know, it’s a zit,” and point to one they are trying to cover up.  Understanding how to deal with acne requires first knowing what it is, and what causes it.  Like GI Joe taught us – Knowing is half the battle.  Go Joe!  (For those of you who are not 80s and older children… I’m sorry.  I’m 33 and a total closet 80s fanatic.)

Anyway, back to acne.

 

What The Heck Is Acne?

Acne is a skin condition that occurs when your hair follicles are clogged with dead skin cells and oil.  You’ll see it pop up mostly on the face, although it can spread its way to your neck, shoulders, chest and back as well.

 

What Are The Types of Acne?

Doctors use fancy names for the different types of acne that you can get, but I want to try to keep it simple.

  1. Whiteheads – A non-inflamed (not red, agitated, or irritated) pore clogged with oil, dead skin cells and sometimes bacteria that has a white cap to it.
  2. Blackheads – If a whitehead has a slight opening at the top, the oil and dead skin cells will darken as the air oxidizes it.  It’s the same thing that happens sometimes with foundations – they look one color in the bottle, but as soon as they get out in the air and on your skin they darken up slightly.
  3. Pimple – The angry step-sister to the whitehead.  They are the inflamed, red, tender bumps that have white pus built up on the tip.
  4. Pustule – I didn’t have any other specific name for this type of pimple, because they tend to get lumped in with the rest.  These are the slightly raised, very tender red suckers that hurt when you touch them but have not yet come to a head.  No pus has developed on these yet.
  5. Cysts – These are larger, painful, pus-filled lumps under the surface of the skin.  These bad boys are the ones that cause a lot of acne scarring.

 

What Causes Acne?

There are three major causes of acne:

  1. An Overproduction of Oil – We all have a thin layer of oil on our skin for protection.  Sometimes our skin can go into hyper oil production mode and all of a sudden our face turns into an oil slick.
  2. Irregular Shedding of Dead Skin Cells – Our skin has a renewal cycle; fresh new cells are created and move to the surface of our skin, where they eventually die and shed off.  When that process doesn’t happen as it should, we can get a build up of dead skin cells clogging our pores and irritating our skin.
  3. Build-up of Bacteria – If our skin doesn’t get cleansed properly and regularly, bacteria can collect on the surface, get into our pores, grow and spread, causing all kinds of irritation and issues.

 

What Can Trigger or Worsen Acne?

Causes of Acne Collage

  1. Hormones – Lord, don’t we know it!  Anything from periods to puberty, pregnancy to menopause.  If something changes our hormone levels it can often trigger our skin to break out.
  2. Medication – For women, often going on (or off) the birth control pill can cause our skin to freak out on us.  But it’s not just a woman thing – steroids, lithium, and many other medications can also break us out.
  3. Diet – The yummiest foods may be the worst when it comes to acne triggers.  Greasy foods, dairy products, foods rich in carbs (breads, bagels, chips), sweets… “you are what you eat” takes on a new meaning in relation to pimples.
  4. Bad Products on Skin – I have had clients who would put Vaseline on their skin to “moisturize.”  I’ve seen people use baby oil as their makeup remover… all over their face.  There are a lot of ingredients that can exist in makeup, cleansers, moisturizers, sunscreen, etc that can cause nasty breakouts.  It’s a vicious cycle with makeup too, because when you get a breakout you want to cover it up, which means sometimes you are using even MORE of the product that is actually causing the breakout.

 

Bottom Line:

By knowing what acne is, what causes it, and what can trigger an outbreak, we can sometimes stop it before it even starts.  In future blogs in this series I am going to cover how to treat acne, whether you should pop that annoying zit or not, ingredients in cosmetics to look for and avoid, and what your skin care routine should be.  I hope you’ll hang with me, and let me know what you think about everything I’ve said!